Artwork of the Triforce in the Sacred Realm from A Link to the Past
|First appearance||A Link to the Past (1992)|
|Appears in||A Link to the Past|
Ocarina of Time
|Point(s) of interest||Temple of Light|
- "In a realm beyond sight
the sky shines gold, not blue.
There, the Triforce's might
makes mortal dreams come true."
- — Book of Mudora verse
The Sacred Realm (聖地 Seichi?, Sacred Land), also referred to as the Golden Land, is a recurring location in the The Legend of Zelda series. The Sacred Realm is described as a mythical plane, or parallel world, created along with Hyrule by the three Golden Goddesses. It is the resting place of the Triforce, an artifact of great power left by the Goddesses. Though the Sacred Realm is linked to Hyrule, the way to access it and acquire the Triforce within is shrouded in secrecy.
Long ago, many people aggressively sought the coveted Triforce. War broke out between those who were attempting to access the Golden Land. Eventually, the thief Ganondorf was able to enter and acquired the Triforce. His wish was to conquer the world, and thus the Golden Land was transformed into a twisted reflection of Ganondorf's evil heart, and came to be known as the Dark World. This world is a hostile equivalent of Hyrule filled with monsters, and turns those within it into a form befitting who they are at heart. Ganondorf took the form of a monstrous boar, and became known as Ganon, the King of Darkness. Evil power flowed forth from the Dark World and Ganon's monsters invaded Hyrule. The Knights of Hyrule fought against them until the Seven Wise Men were able to place a seal on the Dark World, locking Ganon and his forces within.
After a long time passes, Ganon uses his alter ego, the wizard Agahnim, to act in the Light World, the world containing Hyrule. Agahnim overthrows the King of Hyrule and captures the Seven Maidens, descendants of the Seven Wise Men who created the seal on the Dark World. By sending the maidens to the Dark World, Agahnim breaks the seal, and Ganon prepares to conquer the Light World. However, the hero Link is able to rescue the Seven Maidens from the dungeons of the Dark World and defeat Agahnim, as well as Ganon himself. Link touches the Triforce, wishing that all Ganon's evil deeds be undone. His wish is granted, the Dark World is restored to its original form as the Golden Land, and peace returns to Hyrule.
The Sacred Realm is isolated from Hyrule by a seal that can only be opened with a unique collection of items: The three Spiritual Stones, which belong to three of the races of Hyrule; the Ocarina of Time and Song of Time, which open the seal of the Temple of Time, the gateway to the Sacred Realm; and the Master Sword, which was created to defeat evil and can only be wielded by a hero.
Once Link meets with Princess Zelda, she tells him of Ganondorf, who plans to betray her father, the King of Hyrule. Since her father refuses to believe the princess and her premonitions, she turns to Link and asks him to obtain the Spiritual Stones to prevent Ganondorf from acquiring them. Once Link has gained possession of the three artifacts, he sets off back to Hyrule Castle, only to see Zelda and Impa (Zelda's guardian) fleeing from Ganondorf. Zelda throws the Ocarina of Time into the moat. Once Link picks it up, he goes into a dream-like state in which Zelda teaches him the Song of Time, the final key to opening the Door of Time. Link uses the Spiritual Stones along with the Ocarina of Time and Song of Time, and pulls the Master Sword from its pedestal. However, he is too young to be the Hero of Time and defeat Ganondorf, and so is placed in a seven year slumber in the safety of the Temple of Light within the Sacred Realm. With the Sacred Realm unsealed, Ganondorf, who had been waiting for Link to open the way for him, enters and touches the Triforce. Since his heart is not balanced between the virtues of power, wisdom, and courage, he is only given the Triforce of Power. The Sacred Realm becomes warped and twisted under Ganondorf's control, as the realm reflects the heart of the one who touches the Triforce. Only the Temple of Light at the center of the Sacred Realm remains uncorrupted.
Link awakens from his seven year sleep as an adult. Ganondorf has conquered Hyrule thanks to his wish and his Triforce of Power, and Link, the Hero of Time, is sent on a quest to defeat him. Link awakens the Seven Sages and confronts Ganondorf. When Ganondorf is weakened, the Seven Sages banish him to the Sacred Realm and seal him within.
It is revealed in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess that in ancient times, a group of Interlopers attempted to establish dominion over the Sacred Realm and secure the Triforce. In response, the goddesses sent down the light spirits Ordona, Faron, Eldin, and Lanayru to seal them away along with their powerful magical creation, the Fused Shadow. The interlopers were banished to the Twilight Realm, another dimension created by the goddesses. Exposed to the Twilight of the realm, the Interlopers transformed into the Twili race.
At the very end of the game, Hilda brings Link and Zelda to Lorule's Sacred Realm so the latter two can return to Hyrule via a portal. Link and Zelda end up in Hyryle's Sacred Realm with the Triforce resting on its pedestal, leaving them the opportunity to make a wish.
Ocarina of Time
The backstory of A Link to the Past has many similarities to the events of Ocarina of Time. The name "Seven Wise Men" from A Link to the Past is actually a mistranslation, with the original Japanese and later English re-releases giving them the same name as the Seven Sages from Ocarina of Time. Two of Ocarina of Time's developers, character designer Satoru Takizawa and script director Toru Osawa, even stated that the Imprisoning War and Seven Sages mentioned by A Link to the Past were the same events and characters seen in Ocarina of Time. Despite this, there are some details which conflict between the two accounts. Many fans consider these details to be retconed in the face of overall similarities and developer confirmation, while others maintain that the two games are describing separate events and characters.
The Silent Realm from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is theorized to be the Sacred Realm. In Skyward Sword, Link obtains all three pieces of the Triforce in a place which appears to be the Silent Realm, given the area's identical appearance, method of entry, and Link's lack of items in the area. Because the stories of the creation of Hyrule state that the Triforce was left in the Sacred Realm, it would make sense that in Skyward Sword, which is generally accepted as the first game in the chronology of the series, the Triforce would be found in the Sacred Realm. The Silent Realm also changes to appear golden upon Link's acquisition of the full Triforce, similar to the Sacred Realm's description as the "Golden Land". However, the nature of the Silent Realm is distinctly different from that of the Sacred Realm. While both are equivalent worlds to Hyrule, the Silent Realm is a spirit world which only Link can enter, leaving Fi, his items, and his own physical body behind. The Sacred Realm, however, is a normal physical world, which any person can enter with their own body and equipment.